Laser-guide-stars used for cophasing broad capture ranges
Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte
d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Parc Valrose, Bât. Fizeau, 06108 Nice, France
Accepted: 15 July 2016
Context. Segmented primary mirrors are indispensable to master the steady increase in spatial resolution. Phasing optics systems must reduce segment misalignments to guarantee the high optical quality required for astronomical science programs.
Aims. Modern telescopes routinely use adaptive optics systems to compensate for the atmosphere and use laser-guide-stars to create artificial stars as bright references in the field of observation. Because multiple laser-guide-star adaptive optics are being implemented in all major observatories, we propose to use man-made stars not only for adaptive optics, but for phasing optics.
Methods. We propose a method called the doublet-wavelength coherence technique (DWCT), exploiting the D lines of sodium in the mesosphere using laser guide-stars. The signal coherence properties are then used.
Results. The DWCT capture range exceeds current abilities by a factor of 100. It represents a change in paradigm by improving the phasing optics capture range from micrometric to millimetric. It thereby potentially eliminates the need of a man-made mechanical pre-phasing step.
Conclusions. Extremely large telescopes require hundreds of segments, several of which need to be substituted on a daily basis to be recoated. The DWCT relaxes mechanical integration requirements and speeds up integration and re-integration process.
Key words: instrumentation: adaptive optics / instrumentation: high angular resolution / methods: analytical / techniques: high angular resolution / telescopes / methods: numerical
© ESO, 2016